Thesis & Dissertations

Discourse Varieties in Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things: A Critical Discourse Analysis


The God of Small Things: A Critical Discourse AnalysisThe present study aims at applying a Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) model to a work of literature (fiction), i.e. a novel in particular. The novel is Arundhati Roy's (1997) novel The God of Small Things (TGOST). The CDA model is based on Fairclough's (1995) Three Dimensional Framework, and Hodge and Kress’s (1993) Syntagmatic model as well as their “Power Model” (1993, p.94). The study specifically addresses the main research problem question: through what linguistic choices does Roy reveal power manipulation, social injustice, and gender inequality among social members in the novel? Roy's novel harbors a variety of discourses which unveils elements of power, struggle and domination that are present within its foliage. This qualifies it to be a subject matter for critical discourse analysis. A work of fiction i.e. a novel in particular is an important body for attempting a critical discourse analysis. This is probably because literary language embeds through particular word choice, and/or sentence structure certain ideologies, beliefs, and concepts of power. In Roy’s novel power manipulation, ideologies, and power manipulation are maintained by, and propagated through discursive formations, and encounters between the characters of the novel. The findings of the study indicate that the variety of discourses in the novel express Roy’s beliefs such as identity and voice, and reveal language as a tool for maintaining and exerting power for the purpose of control. The findings also indicate that the critical discourse analysis of the various discourses shows how notions of social and gender injustice, power abuse, and domination are constructed, reflected, and naturalized through particular language use.


Ibrahim Mohamed Srour


Dr. Laila Helmi, Dr. Adel Sakakini